Apart to be a part

An artist is always conscious of standing apart from life, and one of the results of this can be that you begin to feel most intensely that you have failed to feel: a certain emotional reserve in one’s life becomes a source of great power in one’s work.*
(Christian Wiman)

Lost in all the noise around us is the proven truth about creativity: it’s the result of desire – the desire to find a new truth, solve an old problem, or serve someone else. Creativity is a choice, it’s not a bolt of lightning from somewhere else.**
(Seth Godin)

There is the very real possibility that deepening our observation and being reflective will take us into our art. Rory Sutherland wants us to understand:

Never forget this: the nature of our attention affects the nature of our experience.^

There are no guarantees, but one thing we know about humans is that we love the idea and perhaps dream about artful in some way. When this is turned into activity then art is found in many different places beyond what we traditionally think of as the arts.

Through attention and reflection, we are able to notice the intensity of our heart towards some things and not towards others, and yet we miss so much of what our lives are telling us because we’re being rushed along most of the time by what our head us telling us to do:

We begin to realise that the reasoning brain is actually the third most important part of our consciousness. The first and most important is the desiring heart.^^

One way to slow all of this down and help you notice more and reflect upon it is journalling – all you need do at first is just open a notebook and start writing:

Writing in your journal is more powerful than simple meditation for the same reason that writing your goals down is more powerful than leaving them in your head.*^

Make brilliant art, whatever it may be.

(*Christian Wiman, quoted in David Brooks’ The Second Mountain.)
(**From Seth Godin’s The Practice.)
(^From Rory Sutherland’s Alchemy.)
(^^From David Brooks’ The Second Mountain.)
(*^From Ben Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)

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